5.19.2004

from AWP (finally)

Reviewing Reviewing

I'm something of a reviewing evangelist -- I have a fervent passion, a tightly grasped conviction that every writer MUST write reviews, criticism, and, yeah, even theory -- but, I have assembled my more accomplished and even tempered compatriots here for you. This is a roundtable of a panel. Each writer and "reviewing professional" will introduce herself or humself after I do, i.e., answer the question "why I'm here," and then, round-robin, everyone will say something pithy yet rabble rousing about writing reviews, editing and publishing reviews, and teaching reviewing.

You may know Rochelle Ratner, poet, novelist, short story writer, critic, and editor of American Book Review -- my reverence for this publication was shaped by a mysteriously long period -- 10 years in my estimation -- during which my reviewing friends told me I should review for ABR. My former neighbor, though we didn't know it at the time -- Rochelle Ratner is executive editor of ABR. She's edited and written for them since 1978. She's also written for Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and National Book Critics Circle --

Timothy, when did you graduate from Columbia? We never met. So I started reading The Boston Review -- & obviously have never figured out how to submit poems -- and then, I think it was my friend Therese Bachand who said to me, "I'm writing a capsule review of Thalia Field's book for The Boston Review...." Timothy Donnelley has been poetry editor and reviews editor of The Boston Review since 1995. He's also a PhD candidate at Princeton University, fellow Columbia MFA, and author of 27 Props for a Production of Eine Leibenzeit.

Janet Holmes is Director of the MFA program at Boise State as well as Director of Ahsahta Press. She's reviewed for Hungry Mind Review and ForeWord magazine as well as Crania Magazine online.

Eric Lorberer is editor of RainTaxi Review of Books, an independent review entering its ninth year of publication, as well as a poet.

Harriet Zinnes is Professor Emerita at Queens College of CUNY and contributing editor of denver Quarterly and the Hollins Critic. She's author of Drawing on the Wall, signing on SAturday at the Marsh Hawk Press booth, as well as the forthcoming book of review essays, Meaning Extended.

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